2017-10-18 13:06:18 UTC
lovers with his commanding stage presence and Canadiana-laced lyrics, has
died. He was 53. Downie had an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer
called glioblastoma, which he discovered after a seizure in December 2015.
He died Tuesday night surrounded by his children and family, according to a
statement on the band's website.
"Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious
time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep
gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it
with a kiss… on the lips," the statement said.
Canadians learned of Downie's illness on May 24 last year — the same day the
rest of the rock group, Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair and Johnny
Fay, announced that the Kingston, Ont.-based band would head out on a final
summer tour "for Gord, and for all of us."
The final concert, in Kingston on Aug. 20, was broadcast by CBC across
Canada commercial free. The 15-show Man Machine Poem tour, especially its
final concert, became a cultural event, as Downie's dire prognosis prompted
an outpouring of support from people across the country who had the rare
opportunity to celebrate a much-loved Canadian before he was gone.